My fascination with Mexico’s various cultures, wonderful people, and its simplicity began on a two-week vacation. It evolved into so much more.
And because I wanted to fully experience everything Mexico has to offer, I ended up selling almost everything I own and finding a way to turn my career skills into a portable income.
I loved almost everything about practicing veterinary medicine. It was a demanding, often times stressful, but also a very rewarding career. However, it required me to be at a specific place on a very regular schedule. Now, for the past two years, I’ve lived in a small mountain town in southern Mexico and have the flexibility of setting my own work schedule. While I’m no longer practicing veterinary medicine, it still plays a big role in my life.
In a typical week, I now write three to four veterinary related articles on various pet care topics, while also acting as a consultant for a pet food company. As a result of my newfound freedom, I have also been able to write and consult in other areas of interest, not related to my veterinary background.
Before, my days were hectic and planned for me. Now, they still start with coffee—a very good, locally grown coffee—but the rest of the day is very different and usually very spontaneous. On a typical work day, I get up and check my email, get my two or three hours of work done early, and then have the rest of the day free for exploration.
There is also time for plenty of days off. Full days are spent exploring some of the traditional Maya communities that surround the town (there are 83 of them) or visiting one of the many natural parks close by. There is also plenty of time for exercise including hiking, riding bikes around town, or just sitting in the central park square and people watching.
I have time to volunteer as well, helping local veterinarians in dealing with dog and cat population issues, and there’s always time for some “free consulting” with locals and expats alike regarding their pets. All things I still love to do.
The move has also provided many health benefits. My diet has become a much more natural one, totally eliminating fast foods and most processed ones. I visit the local market twice a week, where the locals bring their fresh fruits and vegetables and many traditional offerings that are only found here.
I’ve been the ceremonial godfather for a 5-year-old Maya boy…participated in a traditional Dias de Los Muertos celebration…and gained an insight into a culture that could never have happened on a two-week trip.
In discovering the freelancing lifestyle, I found that anyone can take their existing skills and turn them into a portable online income that can be earned from anywhere. Getting that first online job and paycheck made leaving an established career the best decision of my life and has allowed me to literally have the best of both worlds, in ways I never imagined.
Gone are the demands, the stress, and the restrictions of my previous life and I still get to do many of the same things, just in different ways, to make it all happen.
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